4 Almost-Happily-Ever-Afters I Met On Tinder (And Where They Went South)

I.

You were my first (Tinder date, I mean). Just a little bit older, from one town over. You like beer because youโ€™re human and so do I. My mother and sister squealed when they saw your white Jeep pull up in front of our house. Jeeps are super hot cars, I later informed you between gulps of a limited edition IPA. You knew I lived with my parents and the beloved family pit bull but you still walked up to the door to get me. I made my family hide around the corner to ease the awkwardness of our first introduction. You were kind and goofy and kissed me on the outside patio of a brewpub while a fire roared next to us. 45 minutes was too much distance though, so we fizzled out within a few weeks.

II.

I thought you were hysterically funny and I liked that you had a job you were passionate about. We exchanged tales of debauchery over beers (beers for the nerves, always beers for the nerves). You told me that Iโ€™m sweet and I told you that I get that a lot. Later that night we sat on my back deck, close together and whispering so as not to wake up my family. We kissed and it was electric. Less than a week, later you joined my girlfriends and me for a night of drunken dancing. I wore my leopard print mini dress and Adidas sneakers and felt very European. Unfortunately, you were too drunk to notice the nuances of my ensemble and performed an incredibly convincing lip-sync of an Nโ€™Sync song while my friends watched with jaws wide open. I felt strangely protective of you and ushered you into a cab as soon as the song ended. We went out a few more times. We spent an uncomfortable, beer-soaked day at the driving range during which I regretted the shortness of my skirt. We watched Sharknado and made out in your hot tub. Whenever you drove me home weโ€™d listen to Ska and I thought it was so damn attractive the way you drummed on the steering wheel. You told me after many days of silence that we had no spark. I told you I get that a lot.

III.

I didnโ€™t recognize you at first because when we โ€œdatedโ€ in middle school you were a heavyset little guy with a penchant for spontaneous comedy sets. Now you were fit and driven. I would call you โ€œmy Adonis,โ€ and it would make you grab my face with your hands and kiss me deeply. On our first date we each had three rum and cokes and reminisced about what we could remember from our pre-teen days. I immediately fell for you. Because you were so very handsome, and because if we worked out I knew it would make the most beautiful story. We got together again just a day after our first date. Your parents were out of town and we drank wine and smoked weed on your back deck. I had something of a mental breakdown while we cuddled together watching The Avengers which you dealt with gently. I wrote you steamy short stories and you would pick me up late at night so we could make out in the back of your car. You finally told me you just wanted to be friends but I insisted on still spending time together. You would talk me back from the ledge when other guys broke my heart but when that got too exhausting you tried to hook me up with one of your friends. When that didnโ€™t work out you stopped speaking to me completely.

IV.

You were 30 minutes late to our first date, which should have been a deal-breaker for me but when I first saw those giant brown eyes of yours, I knew I was doomed. We made the short hike to the top of Spencerโ€™s Butte and opened a mini bottle of chardonnay. After we finished that, you revealed that you had tequila in your water bottle and we mixed it with Pepsi and told each other the sorts of secrets you reserve for late at night in bed with a longtime partner. Neither of us had our own place so all of our dates involved driving to a park, and then drinking in said park. Not the classiest of relationships but it was new and adventurous and I felt like Iโ€™d known you my whole life. We drove to the beach and drank ciders and kissed while the sun set on a balmy, beautiful day. I wanted you to be mine and only mine but you insisted that we both needed to get our shit together first. I made you cupcakes on your birthday. I wrote you letters and you painted me, saying you couldnโ€™t get my image out of your head. We would sit on top of the butte where we had our first date marveling at the cinematic affection that we shared. Whenever you insisted that we should just be friends Iโ€™d undo the top button of my shirt and weโ€™d start to kiss and weโ€™d forget all logic. You left for a different city and texted me several months later saying youโ€™d met someone and she completes you. You told me there was someone out there for me. I told you to go fuck yourself. TC mark

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